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Bullying - being unkind to others

picking; on; teasing; harassment; bully; tease; pick; victim; hurt; gang; up; bullying; mean; being; mean; bullies ;


Teasing others

"I was only teasing..."
bullying"I didn't really mean to..."
"He made me do it".
"She did it first".
"It was only a bit of fun".

We've all made these kinds of excuses at times. Very often we end up saying "sorry" to someone for hurting them, hurting their feelings, or doing something without thinking of what might happen.

Some people seem to be making these kinds of excuses all the time, especially when they've been caught out by an adult or a teacher.

These are the people who turn into bullies.


Bullies can be boys or girls, big kids or little kids, smart or not so smart kids.

bullyingSome bullies use words to hurt the feelings of their victim and some like to hurt people's bodies.

Here are some of the things bullies might do:

  • They often talk loudly, and don't give others a chance to speak.
  • They try to be super cool.
  • They often pick on younger or smaller kids, kids who might be different in some way, or kids who don't have many friends, like new kids.
  • They often have one or two people who hang around with them to help them 'gang up' on a kid.
  • bullyingThey can use teasing, name-calling, blackmail and violence against their victim.
  • They may spread stories or lies about their victim.
  • They may try to turn everyone against that person.
  • They may hide, damage or take their victim's things.
  • They may ignore or not speak to their victim and try to get others to do the same.
  • They may threaten to 'get' their victim or his/her friends and family.
  • They may use 'cyberbullying' to hurt others.

What you should know about bullies

  • They like embarrassing or hurting people.
  • They are often not confident people themselves, which is why they pick on others. They often are unhappy people and have more problems than the people they pick on!
  • They feel better about themselves if they can make others feel worse.
  • Many experts believe that bullies have learned to bully because they have been bullied themselves in the past, maybe in their homes, outside or at school. But even if you are bullied, you have a choice what to do - you don't have to turn into a bully.
  • Some people join in or go along with the bullying of others to save themselves from being bullied.
  • Bullies often work in groups, because it is easy for them to make excuses when they are caught eg. "I didn't start it..." "I was just there..." "He (the victim) started it and I was just helping my friend". There is more about this in the topic Are you a bystander to bulling.

Bullying is only successful if people don't do anything about it.

What if you're the bully?

If you get into trouble for bullying and you want to have friends, ask an adult you trust to help you. You will need to get some help to learn to manage your feelings in ways that don't hurt other people. There are always other things you can do when you are angry or stressed or frustrated, but you may need help to work out what they could be for you.

You will also have to help other people 'unlearn' about you. You will have to help them learn about the good things you can do. It will be very hard and it might take a long time but it will be worth it in the end - then you will have made real friends, and earned the real respect of people, rather than have them fear you.


Can you imagine how awful it feels
To wake up afraid every day?
Can you imagine how lonely it feels
To feel too sad to play?
Can you imagine how you might feel
If this should happen to you?
What if others were standing by
While someone was bullying you?
Maybe it's time for us all to say
Bullying people is not okay.


Being bullied

Harassment/bullying is a big problem in and out of schools nowadays.

People who have studied these things tell us that 1 out of 6 young people are harassed or bullied at least once a week in South Australian schools. So if you are being bullied, you are not the only one - and most of all - it is NOT your fault.

All schools have policies about dealing with bullying and teachers want to help kids who are being bullied, and also the kids who are bullies. It is important to talk to your teacher. This can take a lot of courage - but it is important. Maybe you could ask a friend to be with you when you talk to your teacher - or if you are feeling very lonely it is important to talk with one of your trusted adults and ask for their help. Teachers now know a lot about how to support kids.

There is a lot more to read in the topic Dealing with bullies.

Who gets picked on?

Sometimes it's hard to work out why bullies pick on some people but one thing is for sure, it's not the fault of the person who is being picked on (although there are sometimes things that can be learned to help avoid being bullied).

Bullies generally go for:

  • bullyingAnyone who just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  • People who are different in any way.
  • Anyone who seems like an easy target (easy to scare).
  • People who are smaller or younger than the bully.
  • People who are sensitive, who may cry or get upset .
  • If you think you might be one of these people, remember that we are all different and that is why it is an interesting world. Being different doesn't make it okay to be picked on.

There is a lot more to read in the topic Dealing with bullies.

How it feels to be bullied

People who are bullied often feel scared, lonely and hopeless.

Being the victim of a bully can lead to:

  • Feeling left out and lonely.
  • Not wanting to eat.
  • Not wanting to go to school.
  • Doing badly at school work.
  • Running away from school or home.
  • Having bad dreams.
  • Wetting the bed.

Damien and a friend wrote this:

B is for bashing, weaker people.
U is for unfair, to all pick on one.
L is for lying, to get out of trouble
L is for lout, don't you act like one.
Y is for yuck, that's how they make people feel.
I is for illegal, everyone has rights.
N is for naughty, to upset someone.
G is for gangs who go looking for fights.

Tahlia said

Why be a bully?
Bullies hurt people.
Bullies are mean.
Don’t be a bully.
Don’t gang up with bullies.
No one likes bullies.
Be nice and others will be nice to you.

Dr Kate says

Dr Kate"If you are being bullied, don't give up - tell someone like a parent or teacher. No-one should be made miserable by other people and there are people who can help you".

 There are many types of bullying. Check out   

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We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.


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